Nation and world briefs

  • Updated: August 11, 2014 - 7:49 PM
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A group of mourners watched as a hearse carrying the casket of Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was fatally shot Saturday while in Florida visiting relatives, left for his burial on Monday. Police have said the motive initially appears to be robbery.

Photo: John Minchillo • Associated Press,

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California

Wildfires threaten nearly 750 homes

Fire crews braced Monday for more strong winds from nearby thunderstorms as they tried to gain ground on two wildfires that were threatening nearly 750 rural homes on national forest land in Northern California. The two fires threatening homes in the Klamath National Forest had burned through nearly 25 square miles of dry timber near the community of Etna in Siskiyou County. The smaller of the two fires was 25 percent contained. But the second blaze burning about 8 miles away was 4 percent contained.

Ohio

Judge extends halt to executions

A freeze on capital punishment in Ohio will continue into next year after a federal judge extended a monthslong moratorium on executions as questions mount about the effectiveness of a new two-drug combination being used. The ruling highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death.

Florida

Police vow to find rabbi’s shooter

Miami-Dade police say they are committed to finding the people responsible for shooting and killing a rabbi walking to temple in Northeast Miami-Dade over the weekend. Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was visiting his family from Brooklyn, was on is way to Bais Menachem Chabad about 9 a.m. Saturday when he was gunned down. Members of the predominately Orthodox Jewish Community said on Sunday they feared the shooting was linked to an incident last month where swastikas and the word “Hamas” appeared on a nearby synagogue, but police say robbery may have been a motive.

Louisiana

Man killed in New Orleans was targeted

Investigators believe drugs were the motive behind a drive-by shooting that killed a man and a teenager and wounded five others. Three remained in critical condition. Terrance McBride, the 33-year-old man who was slain Sunday, was the target and had a gun; the others were innocent bystanders, police said.

Ukraine

Russian intervention is likely, NATO says

The prospect of a Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine appeared to rise sharply. As the Kremlin announced it had sent a convoy of humanitarian aid to Ukraine under the auspices of the International Red Cross, the secretary-general of NATO said there was a “high probability” of a Russian attack and Ukraine raised its estimate of Russian troop strength on the border.

Pakistan

Murder case opened against cleric

Pakistani authorities have opened a murder investigation against an anti-government cleric after a police officer was killed in clashes with the cleric’s supporters, a top Pakistani official said. The clashes and murder investigation are part of escalating tensions in Pakistan where two high-profile figures — the cleric and cricket legend-turned-politician Imran Khan — have called for the government’s ouster. Both are calling for a march on the capital Islamabad on Thursday, vowing to bring thousands into the streets.

Liberia

Doctors to get experimental drug

The Liberian government says it will receive doses of an experimental Ebola drug to treat doctors in the West African country. The U.S. government confirmed that it had put Liberian officials in touch with the maker of ZMapp, and referred additional questions to Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. It was unclear how much of the treatment would be sent but government officials cautioned that the company had only a limited supply. The company said in a statement that its supply had been exhausted. Thus far, two Americans and a Spaniard have received the drug.

Ex-soccer star Weah records Ebola song

Liberia’s world famous soccer star George Weah has produced a song to raise awareness about Ebola. Weah said he hopes the song will help stop the spread of Ebola. “Let us all arise and come together to fight Ebola; Ebola is real,” the lyrics of the song exhort. Weah, who before he retired was once named FIFA’s player of the year, is now a politician and singer.

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